Nick

Kara

9.30.2009

NUUN - review

I had heard alot about NUUN from other blogs and received some to try out from Lola @ Nuun.
It came in a very small cute box with 3 tubes enclosed. Nuun is an alternative to water and has tons of electrolytes. It contains no carbs or added sugars and is portable. You drop one of these tablets into a bottle of water and it dissolves - woila: your drink is ready. You can mix it before you go out for a long run or bring it along and mix it on the road. Time to hydrate! It comes in various flavors, including some new ones that sound pretty fun, goji berry green tea & lemon chai!

Taste - kind of like diluted gatorade or juice? It reminded me of airborne, maybe with the whole dissolvable tablet action going on.

It will cost you $24 for 3 tubes. Each tube contains 16 tablets. This is like buying 48 gatorades.
Right now they are offering free shipping - check out the shop! Have you tried NUUN? Do you use it? What is your favorite flavor?





I mixed it in a pom bottle


I made it yesterday without going to the store. For dinner it was some barley and mushrooms. Kind of lame but Bill had a late big lunch and wasn't into dinner and I will basically throw things together and be happy with it! Today I was going to break down and go to the store but I left Nick's carseat in the car that was going to the shop so there will be no food shopping today!
It could be stirfry tonight - latest favorite thing to cook veggies in is peanut butter and coconut oil :) or some other fun creation. Thanks for your tips!

Today's swim workout had a crazy aspect: 16 x 100s, each set of 4 on a different interval. I feel like we could have done them faster, but it started at 1:50, then 1:45, 1:40, and the last 4 at 1:35. It was not that difficult. I really want to create a happy medium lane!


9.29.2009

Nixing the supermarket


last night's dinner: quinoa w/ tahini, beans, spaghetti squash, broccoli

I'm trying to hold out on going to the supermarket as long as possible - I don't know why, except that I feel like we have plenty of food in the house. The thing is, we don't have a lot of necessities! We have tons of veggies, grains, pasta, beans, some tofu. Bill is not a vegetarian so last night I stopped at the butcher shop and got him chicken and made coconut chicken (mmm it looked good), today I am thinking of stopping at the fish market only for Bill's main thing. How long can this go on for? AM I even saving money - probably not. I think I just want to get creative and make sure I use anything that is perishable before going and buying more things at the supermarket!

Here is what I have - any ideas that will hold as main courses?

kale
white beans
barley
TVP (textured veggie protein)
quinoa
zucchini
eggplant
tomatoes
asparagus
sweet potatoes
tofu
green beans
today's lunch: squash, red pepper, cucumber, tahini, whole wheat roll, beans, vegburger

WISH this week's 7 miler went as good as last weeks did. As soon as 7 miles hit, I slammed the OFF button. UGh!

9.28.2009

The thing about calorie counting...

is that if you make something that is made up of many different ingredients, it is tedious to count everything up. So I start off the day doing GREAT and then drop off. Blah. I'm getting there!

I made some new Tempo bars called the Beez Tempo bar (cookies and cream) with brown rice puffs, oats and organic sandwich cookies (oreos). Mmm these make a great one for kid's lunches!




Abby and I did a medium length run on Sunday and I'm realizing that I am going to have some trouble getting past the 15 mile mark in training runs. I'm looking for some races to run in place of my longest runs so that I know that they will get done. If anyone local has any good ideas - please share! I'm getting more excited for the marathon and hope that I'll be fine - but I'm going for fun instead of racing.

My swimming mileage has been getting up there and though I don't really like getting up early to go, I feel so good when I get home and have the whole day to chill with Nick and get things done. I used to lift or do yoga when Nick napped but lately I feel like swimming is enough! I'm definitely not as motivated or hard core as pre-Nick but I'm OK with it!

Nick is turning 8 months next week and I'm finding myself sad at how fast this is all going. I want to go back to the day he was born and start over! I'm savoring every minute and know my decision to be home with him right now was the right one at this point - even though it took 7 months to adjust. I can't believe how quickly it all goes! I remember being pregnant and worrying that I wouldn't care as much about running post-baby and freaking out a little bit since it was so much a part of my life at the time. Things aren't as important as they used to be. It's a good thing!


9.27.2009

NUTTZO



I saw Nuttzo on one of my favorite new blogs - Heather eats Almond Butter. As most of you know, Natalie eats almond butter too! It's a big problem actually.

First thing that I noticed - the jar is upside down to promote the natural oils to mix in. I don't know about you, but when I am not eating my own nut butters, there is always a chunky hard mix at the bottom. This is a great idea for the container.

WHAT IS IT?
Nuttzo is a nut butter that contains seeds as well! It is a complete protein, which means it includes all of the necessary amino acids for muscle growth. You'll see flax seeds in every scoop or lick. It includes Valencia peanuts, cashews, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, and almonds. A jar of this yummy stuff contains a multitude of vitamins and minerals - in just one serving you are getting 50% of your omega 3's.


THE COMPANY
Owner Danielle loved peanut butter growing up. As she grew up as a fitness and nutrition guru, she started loving all nut and seed butters. She adopted 2 malnourished boys and really focused on making nutritious delicious foods - enter Nuttzo! Nuttzo is a supporter of Project Left Behind as well, which benefits nutrition for orphans around the world.



THE PRODUCT
A jar retails for around $12.50. You can get 2 jars for $22 online. Yes, it is expensive, however, I'm finding if I want to eat well, and eat organic, it is pricey. From the company website, it is less than $1 a serving - there are 14 servings in each jar. The company is based in CA. Go to the website to find out if you can find it in a store near you. If not, order online!

MY THOUGHTS
Nuttzo is a great mix of all of those things that are good for you one big scoop. It is delicious right out of the jar, on crackers, on bread, or in your morning porridge (currently bulgur for me).
It definitely has a different flavor than plain old peanut butter, but peanuts and flaxseeds shine through the most out of the ingredients. The crunch that comes in every bite makes me think there is toffee or something really delicious hiding in there - it is from the flaxseeds. First I was thinking why not grind the flaxseeds but I really like the crunchy aspect! It is pricey but it is much more than peanut butter!





9.23.2009

Off to a good start

RUNNING
After dreading Tuesday's run, it actually went well. I have been just stopping after an hour or 7 miles. In my pre-baby life, I would always be motivated to go on for as long as I had. Yesterday I reached the 7 mile mark and kept on going - I made it to 8 miles. It was a good feeling! Today I had a nice swim - I've been able to get there earlier and stay a little bit later and finish 3650 yds the last 2 swims- it has been going well!
FOOD
I've been keeping the food log which is really helpful to me and really helps me to stay accountable. I switched from fitday.com to sparkpeople. Since I'm still nursing I'm using babyfit. It is a decent site so far (just switched). Some days I find 2000 calories is way too little, so I have to keep eating. I'm not restricting just trying to listen to my signals here. I've lost 2 pounds now total from eating clean and logging. Today I am just major craving some warm chocolate chip cookies or muffins or something. I think that means I need to eat more so I don't have these cravings!! Below are some eat-clean meatballs made with TVP and grilled veggies.



LIFE
What scares me - I could get into this being at home thing alot of the time. I hope that a part-time teaching job comes up where I can keep my job in the district but be home 3 of the days or something like that. I've been keeping busy and thinking of ideas for things to sell - tempo bars, baby schedule logs - hmmm. I just need to follow through on these ideas.

Nuun- geesh. I tried Nuun and it tasted like AIRBORNE to me? Should I give it another try? I have to review it and I feel bad about it! What do you like about Nuun?


That's about it. I leave you with this picture of Nick. Villanova is where Bill and I met.





Questions:


1) WHAT is the difference between a food processor and the VITA mix?

2) Has anyone ever taken a book to be bound into something fun?
I want to make a baby eat/diaper etc log - I have a vision, but I have to see where to go from there.

3) Are veggies unlimited? They used to be for me - and really, they are so good for you! But I just realized that sweet potatoes are pretty high in those calories!! Do you limit your veggies?

9.21.2009

One day later...


Today I wasn't in too much pain. I am a bit sore and the top of my back is just major sore - I needed a very gentle massage! I think my running form was BAD. I went swimming this morning - great recovery activity, and did some yoga as well. After the race I did do an ice bath, and I think this helped. My legs are tired and sore, but no where near as sore and tired as when I ran 14 miles with Abby and Ali a month or so ago! (first long run outside)

Mentally, I feel like I can get back in the game more today than yesterday. Yesterday I was not feeling my normal high or wanting to go back and do the race again like I usually would. Or fix something, or run faster or start out slower, or think about parts of the race that could have lowered my time... I just didn't care. I still don't care as much as I used to AT ALL, but today, I kind of feel like I can do this and train moderately for the marathon (but let's be honest, I'm actually dreading my run tomorrow morning).

I think I need somewhere better to run than on the treadmill or a short 0.5 mile loop. I'm not feeling the river trail (Valley Forge to Philly) as I don't feel like it is safe and I don't live in a development - so what gives. Not sure where I can run that is safe w/ Nick and not too far of a drive. The treadmill isn't going to cut it. I kind of wish I could meet someone that lives nearby and we can run in the dark at 5am together (you won't see me out there running alone in the dark unless I'm carrying a knife :) )

Yet another study was on the news confirming the benefits of exercise and pregnancy, specifically 3 days a week in the last 2 trimesters minimum to get the benefits. So stay active ladies!

9.20.2009

Did I really run a marathon 5 months ago?

Philly Distance Run '09: Report

The title was what was running through my head as I was running this morning: Did I really run a marathon 5 months ago? How did I DO that? It was a beautiful day for a run. Perfect.

Arrived downtown at 7am. There were basically NO lines for the port-a-potties, it was amazing! I'm used to standing in line for most of the wait until the race starts. After that short wait, I didn't know what to do with myself so I walked up to see if I could see Ryan Hall - no luck, it was too early. I did a little warm up jog, stretched and went in my corral. Unfortunately I made the choice to wear my Boston jacket ( I never wear it) and it made people want to start a conversation with me (mostly older men). I'm not wearing that again. I was a little nervous but not too bad - I was putting pressure on myself that I wanted to run sub 2 hours and definitely didn't want to run slower than my 4 months pregnant race last year (1:58).

The first 3 miles I was running 8:10 pace. I knew that wasn't happening for the rest of the race. I gradually started slowing down. I tried to remind myself to take it all in, what a beautiful day, pretty city, etc, but I was concerned with my pace and time. That was stinky - at that point I wanted to be pregnant and not be worried about these things. I have so much more fun when I don't think about time.

My jacket was wrapped around my waist by the first mile mark, and I really wanted to find someone I knew to give it to so I spent the first several miles looking at the fans for someone that I might know! It was a nice distraction. Miles 4-5-6 I was thinking about how I've run the Kelly Drive so many times, it's cake! I can do this. I was slowing but feeling ok. I was thinking how I wished I trained harder for the race. GU was at mile 8, and I was looking forward to this - as I ate some, I realized it had been a long time since I last had GU and my stomach later didn't react all that well. At each mile, I was basically counting down how many miles till I was done and trying to refocus to enjoy it - while keeping my slowing pace going. I was thinking it'd be fun to see Nick at the finish for a little bit - but then I was just dragging along. I slowed to around a 9 min mile pace and was kind of bummed that I wouldn't be smashing my time from 2 years ago (1:55). The last few miles I tried to enjoy the great weather and do my best! I definitely wasn't in my top running form, and actually the back of my neck and top of my back were kind of sore/stiff. I have to work on that.


Nick eating my medal
I look oversweaty - SPENT!

My pace continued to slow and in the end, I averaged 8:41 minute miles. I don't know why I was expecting more since I have been training at this pace and slower, but my secret goal was under 1:50. In any case, it was a PR for me at 1:53:39, mostly because after I started training hard last spring (2008) I didn't do any half marathons. When I reached the finish, it felt like I had ran an ultramarathon. It was not a good feeling, and I was not too pleased with my time or condition! I felt like an out of shape old man that had just run a block or two and was out of breathe and overly sweaty.


I quickly found my family, we took a few pictures and headed out! I didn't get to see what PF Changs was offering up (did anyone?) but my mom made out with 2 loaves of bread and I have some bars and carnation drinks and ate my ritual perfect banana (bananas at races are always perfect, I love them). We headed out to eat and I had a mushroom egg white omelette and Nick sat in a high chair for the first time. I took a quick ice bath because my I bet my out of shape body is going to be sore tomorrow. The Runner's High that I usually get after a race - isn't as high as normal. Weird feeling. Maybe because my training has been half - a**ed?

As far as how the race was run - the shirts are BRIGHT ORANGE - not a big fan. The medals are the same as last year but with a bright orange band around them. I kind of look forward to the different medals every year so that was a bummer. This morning they had bagels, bananas water, & Cytomax (haven't tried this drink and probably won't) among other things I didn't see. I thought that was pretty cool. I was looking for band-aids so maybe I'd add a clearly marked medical tent? I couldn't find it. Along the course the bands were decent but I'm never quite impressed. Where are the bands for miles 5, 6, and 7? How about 9, 10? I feel like there were maybe 2 bands - one at mile 8 and one around 11? for the last 1/2 of the race.

What's next - Philly marathon. I'm hoping today will wake me up and I will get some running mojo back and train hard for November. Throw any motivation my way!! Is this normal post baby or is it me --> that I'm having trouble going back to being hardcore runner girl?
I'm going to plug in a semi hard training plan for the marathon and see if I can follow it. If anyone needs a long run partner, I think running partners and this great weather will be super helpful! Congrats to Denise for an awesome PR today!



Nick and my dad
you can tell how beautiful of a day it was





Nick was a trooper
He needs some running gear!


First time in a high chair. Cutie!


I came home to an email from Heather at Run Faster Mommy! to tell me that I won her 100th post contest! What a great treat! Heather is a mom of 2 really cute little guys and is training for the Baltimore Marathon and raising money for Team Fight. Check out her blog - you will be motivated for sure!


9.19.2009

bulgur for breakfast ? and expo

I was reading runner's world and saw a suggestion from the section about the cook/runner man to eat bulgur for breakfast. I LOVEEE love love bulgur and don't eat it all that much for dinner - maybe 1 time per week, so I wanted to try it. I did a quick comparison to oatmeal and it was higher in fiber, same in protein and lower in calories, so I replaced my morning oats with bulgur today! It was delicious I must say - I will be doing this more often! First the quinoa now bulgur! Yum!!

The last 3 days (today is day 3) I have been vigiliant and counting off those calories. It is really helping me to realize that all of the picking and little things here and there add up. I'm staying around 2000 calories which seems high(?) but I'm hungry and I can't go much lower than that right now! I think it is helping, though I wanted chocolate chip cookies and stuffed crust pizza (thins I rarely eat) on day 2. Not to worry, I did not eat them!

Yesterday I hit the expo for the philly distance run. I dragged Nick into the city to pick up my packet. Let me tell you, when you are on a fixed time schedule and every minute counts, driving around looking for parking in Philly sucks! I finally caved to a lot until the guy told me $14 - I told him I'd be there 20 min. Then I found a spot down an alley and was terrified for our lives.
By the time I parked I was sweating because I was so anxious about getting Nick back in time for lunch. It was dumb, I didn't bring anything for him so he was crying on the way home - it took way longer than I expected. Bad bad mommy! So that was a fiasco and I won't be going down into Philly alone again - next time I'll bring someone to drop me off and run in - and out. The Expo was disappointing too! I didn't get any free loot - I think it was pretty early on, but everything was mostly for sale. My favorite booth is always clif - they always have samples of everything - but I didn't see it.

Last, teaching lessons on Thursday, I have a 3 year old in my advanced class and his mom forgot his goggles and he had a major temper tantrum. I felt sooo bad for his mom, he was being a butt head.

9.17.2009

Hungry!

I find that reading all of these food blogs makes me super hungry!! But - I get lots of great ideas from them too!
Running
This week, not too much to report! I'm excited for Sunday's race. The weather looks like it is going to be great and I just want to get out there and have fun. I haven't worn my iPod all summer - the only headphones that I like are my hatphones, so I'm not sure what to do about music!
Swimming
I went back to the slower lane where people are friendly and there is less time between sets. What was happening was we'd make the intervals but when the set was over everyone would be BSing. There is nothing I can stand less than just sitting around BSing! And there is little of that in the lane I am swimming in now. Does anyone else do masters? Where are the young people? Why does it end up being 40 and 50 somethings? I always feel like a kid in these practices.

I started teaching swim lessons last week at the Y and the kids are cute - ages 3-5. Nick goes to the daycare at the Y while I'm teaching. Along with that, I'm doing some online grading for PRAXIS (teacher tests) and tutoring. So I feel like I'm working part-time (very little) which is nice. I'm finally settling into staying at home and feeling comfortable with my decision for right now. I'm very nervous as to when it comes time to decide what next.
Eating
My biggest problem time is dinner time. For some reason late afternoon I just pick and pick and pick. Nick's bedtime starts at 6:30 and takes an hour, so by the time we eat it is 8pm and I am usually full from picking but I eat anyway - then feel stuffed. It's all good food for the most part, but too much of it I guess. I am really going to try hard to count those calories again.

One thing I tried this week was GROATS (above). They were tasty - they take long so I started them and then went on the treadmill, they were done at the end. I like oats just as much - I felt like it was a smaller portion for the same # of calories.

Also, I made Nick yogurt! Whole milk yogurt from whole milk. The first time was a bust but this week it worked out. I don't have to spend crazy money on YoBaby! (+ that has added sugar).

Enjoy your end of the week and weekend! I have some Nuun to review - look for that soon!

9.16.2009

POM has teas


If you are a fan of POM juice but found it high in calories, you MUST check out the new teas. POM wonderful sent me 4 different teas to try out, and they did not disappoint. Check out more about the company above from my juice review and at their newly designed website.

The flavors were:
Pom Blackberry Tea - tasted tropical and light
Pom Lychee Green Tea - reminded me of water ice (italian ice if you aren't familiar w/ Water ice)
Pom Wildberry White Tea - light - probably the least sweet of all of them in my view
Pom Hibiscus Green Tea - light - tropical like the blackberry

The light teas contain 70 calories per bottle and the regular teas 140 calories. The light teas are sweetened by erythritol (a natural sweetener, but not a word in my vocabulary) - I would rather drink the regular tea in moderation! Both contain fructose.

I drink green tea almost everyday, but drinking green tea cold with POM juice was amazing. I am always looking for something to drink other than water (and hot tea) so these were refreshing and delicious. I found most of the flavors to be similar in taste - very good. My favorite flavor was probably the Hibiscus or Blackberry. I would drink these when I needed something other than water to refresh! Bill thought the aftertaste was a little off. I thought they were tasty drinks!

On another note, POM invited me on a blogger tour in California that I had to regretfully decline - couldn't work it out during Bill's busy season, still nursing, and didn't think taking Nick cross country would be for the best :( So that was stinky and sad.

9.15.2009

Attn Moms: Happy Babies Meals REVIEW

I emailed the company Happy Baby to see if I could try & review their products. They sent me some free coupons for the frozen meals for babies and for toddlers. We aren't at the toddler part yet but I picked up some frozen cubes @ Whole Foods. These were so cool! They had different ones for different ages, so I picked up two 7 + months ones and one for 9 months for later that sounded really good.

Here is the packaging below:

First Nick tried GREAT GREENS: that was 7+ months that had great greens: spinach, mango and pear (I tasted it - it was GOOoood!) That is shown below. For dinner he tried EASY GOING GREENS: peas, green beans and brown rice. All of this is organic.

Here's Nick eating it for the first time:

video

And then on cube #2 or 3:


video


Happy Babies has frozen cubes for 6 months+. The 6 months foods are more basic and by 7 months there are more combinations of foods. 9 months has some real good stuff - I picked up one with lentils, quinoa, and black beans. I would totally eat it! It is so cool they have this as a healthy organic food I can give to my baby!

THE COMPANY
The company was created out of a need for healthy organic baby food for moms/dads that didn't have time to make it. A healthy baby is a happy baby is the belief.

THE PRODUCTS
Besides the frozen meals, Happy Baby has organic cereals for babies - I use the multigrain, and organic puffs - we've tried apple and greens. I am happy with all of their products that I have tried and feel like I am giving Nick a good start.

THE REVIEW
I have never seen anything like this. I have my own frozen cubes in the freezer and I have time to make them. However, sometimes I do run out of variety and need to mix it up or make a new batch. These are great for me for those in between times or to alternate with what I am serving up. Also, some of the things - like green beans, seem tedious to make, so this makes it easy. I think the best use of something like this for me is if I was going to be away and leaving Nick with his grandparents for a weekend - these would be perfect! Same with the toddler meals as he gets older! They are very neat and very healthy and I feel confident serving this to my baby! I like the combinations, I think the frozen cubes are adorable, and I didn't find it extremely expensive. Just like all organic food, it is more pricey than less nutritional options, but not overly insane. It was on sale at Whole Foods for $3.50 a box, which is 12 cubes.

Nick had 1 for dinner and 3 for lunch. I wasn't sure how many to give him, so it would be nice if there was a suggestion on the box for new moms who have no clue to this whole food thing, but I just test it out. I'm looking forward to trying their other combos and their frozen toddler meals when Nick is a little older. Definitely something to check out, moms!

Extra bonus - you can find the puffs and cereal at Target, and the cereal at Amazon too!




9.13.2009

A bloggy run

Last week when I knew I would be in CT this weekend at my in laws, I emailed Clare to see if she wanted to get together for a run. She did some research to find a place we could run that was halfway for both of us. We ran on this railroad path in Ridgefield, a town I had never been to before that was supercute! We parked in a lot and ran to the path, ran to the end of the trail and ran back. It turned out being around 5.5 miles and was a nice run. I wanted to get in 10 miles because next weekend I am running the Philly distance run so I ran down Main Street in Ridgefield, which was scenic and nice. There were many people out walking and jogging and I exchanged many morning waves with other runners. All in all, a nice morning run, and it was cool to meet Clare! We are both teachers, runners and moms, so we had alot to talk about : )

On next Sunday's 1/2 marathon, I am nervous that I am going to go slower than my 4 months pregnant time from last year...I have not trained fast and motivation has been low. I need to suck it up and realize how lucky I am to be running! When I was pregnant I could not wait to sweat out a workout or be sore, and now I am thinking about how it was nice to have an excuse when I was pregnant. It's always greener on the other side, right?

Why is it that I eat really well when I am not at home?
I am eating tons of veggies and fruits and no junk.

9.12.2009

TEMPEH

Today I was at the grocery store and deciding on a protein to have for dinner - we are visiting the in-laws and they don't eat what I eat! I had tofu in my hand but saw tempeh. I've had it before - a long time ago, maybe in college, and it didn't stick. I thought I'd try it again. It was ok. I mixed it with spinach and white beans for lack of knowing what to do with it. If you have had it or have a favorite way of preparing it, please share! I have 2 more days to eat it! It is full of protein for sure.

9.10.2009

LAZY BAKER PROMO

If you are interested in trying the lazy baker products, here is a promo for readers of my blog :)

Take 20% off your purchase of $20 or more using promo code: nannersbread20
It expires 9/17.

9.09.2009

Productive Day


Some days I am really productive and other days I feel like I accomplish nothing at all! Today was food processor and food day. I started out making Nick some asparagus and nectarines. The asparagus turned out really well! Unfortunately, he won't eat greens alone so I have to mix it with fruit (probably since I started with fruit first - first time mom mistake).

Then I moved on, and made dinner - black bean patties and zucchini corn fritters, plus the leftover asparagus from baby food making + mushrooms that I cooked yesterday. Do you find when cooking mushrooms that if you cook them for a really long time on low -they turn out really well? That is my new finding. Clean them, cut them up, and put them on low for HOURS - and they are so tasty. Add bulgar to all of this, and that was dinner. Yum!

Black Bean Patties -
15 oz black beans
1/4 c wheat germ or any grain (breadcrumbs would work)
2 egg whites
2 tsp oil
cumin
cilantro
PULSE IN FOOD PROCESSOR or mash with a fork. Don't pulse too long, just till combined. Plop into patties on a baking sheet that is sprayed (I cook mine in the toaster oven with tinfoil). Bake until set, about 10-15 minutes at 350.






All of Nick's food cubes! Today he had asparagus for the first time, as well as a dash of flax seed (hoping it helps with his constipation)! I also gave him a really small taste of almond butter. What kind of allergic reactions should I be looking for?



I made the muffins at the top - I adapted the eat-clean breakfast hermit recipe. It had oats, quinoa, hemp protein powder, blueberries, maple syrup, canola smart oil, agave nectar, yogurt and eggs. I wish I had the recipe because I really like them - and to do the nutrition facts, but I was kind of just throwing things in until the consistency was right. I'll write it down next time!


Thanks for the almond butter answer (peanut butter, etc) - I think mine lasts about 3 weeks. That seemed average, but I want to try to stretch it out to a month. The thing is, I do use it for baking too :) Last night I added chocolate chips to the tempo bars! :) Yum! These are so good, and great pre and post run so far for me! Consider sending some to a friend!





So earlier today, I decided to swim in the slower lane, where the swimmers are more friendly and it is less frustrating for me. The intervals are slower so more rest but not excessive rest between sets. It all evens out in the end I think, but I'll go for the friendly people.

I had switched my setting to comment moderation, but then I thought I had no comments since they weren't emailed to me and that I bored everyone to death! Turns out they show up when you go to your dashboard, but only a snippet. I won't be doing that - I was having trouble with my education blog with getting comments in chinese.

7 months out, and I feel like some days I am a bottomless pit. I realize that I look decent, but my stomach is my problem zone. It is definitely thick and I can't seem to get it to go away! It is actually toned too! But, still, I look 3 months pregnant in the belly area. Blah! I'm eating clean (80%), working out everyday, maybe I really should count up those calories (and fail, again). Wish it was easier and hope Nick gets a better metabolism! After you had a baby and if you got right back into being athletic afterwards, how long did it take to get your body back? See, I was really hoping to be one of those people that dropped below their pre-preggo weight with little effort (and 3000 calories a day - dream world...and really I'm giving it alot of effort by working out everyday and eating well!)

< 2 weeks (Is that a less than or greater than sign?) I have to keep asking math questions so that I don't lose my touch. < 2 weeks until the Philly Distance Run. My speed isn't there. I did a little speed interval workout yesterday and might do it again tomorrow. I think I'll be disappointed that I didn't train harder when I see my time next weekend, but I just can't seem to get my mojo back!

A container of almond/peanut butter

How long does it take you to go through a container of peanut butter or almond butter?

I think I need to cut back...

Running - Had a great long run with my friend Nicole who was home for the weekend, Abby and Bess. It was fun running in a pack and it went by quickly!

Swimming - Chose to swim in the slower lane today - the people are nicer and less frustrating for me.

Eating - I'm eating pretty clean, but need to make sure my portion sizes are moderate. So far, I've lost about a pound.

Nick is 7 months! So I have no excuse as to why my body is still on the up and up.

9.06.2009

Lazy Baker Cookie Mix

Most of you know that I like to bake. In fact, I'm not a lazy baker - I usually make most things from scratch. I rarely buy a mix of cookies because of all of the added ingredients in them. There are definitely times when I just don't feel like going through all of the steps of making cookies from scratch, but I usually just get it done! Until now - enter the Lazy Baker cookie mixes.


the Company

the Lazy Baker company has a family story behind it. The creator was inspired by her grandma when she was little. Her grandma would do all of the work and leave behind the fun part - everything was measured and ready to mix and bake. The company was created to make it easy for those who do not have the time or desire to make cookies from scratch. The cookies are made with all natural ingredients.


the Product
Matt at the Lazy Baker sent me an Oatmeal Cherry Raisin Spice mix to try out. The cylindrical container with bright colors arrived in the mail and I found the container to be kind of fun. I was excited to make the cookies! At first glance of the flavor, I was thinking, oh man, I wish I was trying their double chocolate chip or chocolate chip flavors, but this flavor did not disappoint.



In the box came the mix and raisins and cherries. To make the mix, I needed to add 1 stick of butter and 1 egg.


After adding in the butter and egg, here is what the mix looked like. It tasted really good :)


I decided to make mini cookies. I formed them into balls, popped them in the oven and around 20 minutes after I started with the dry mix, woila...



It made around 30 mini cookies, or it makes 2 dozen regular sized cookies. These cookies were delicious!! They were chewy and moist and the cherry and raisin together made for a mad combo.

They tasted like oatmeal raisin cookies with a twist. You would think they were homemade, definitely very yummy with a spice taste. These are a great fall cookie, they reminded me of the brisk air of fall and would be great paired with a cup of warm tea. Mmm..


As an added bonus, Nick enjoyed playing with the fun container.

the Summary
The oatmeal cherry raisin spice cookies come in around 90 calories per serving for the mix (then add in the butter and egg). One container will set you back $8.99. If you compare this to the cost in the grocery store, it is somewhat steep, however, you are getting all natural ingredients with a home- baked taste! I would keep a stack of these in my closet for when I am strapped for time so that I am not serving up unhealthy processed cookies to guests or friends. If you purchase one of each kind, you save 10% of the total cost. Also, there is free shipping over $100. I am thinking about getting the sampler pack and giving them for Christmas gifts. Like everything else, the Lazy Baker is found mostly in California (lucky Californians!) but is also found here and there in various other states. Look here for the full list.

INTERESTED IN BUYING?? Yes, please!

Here is a promo code for the readers of my blog!

Take 20% off your purchase of $20 or more using promo code: nannersbread20
It expires 9/17.

What can I do with this?


I tried out a recipe for zucchini hummus from the eat-clean diet... and it is horrible. I don't know what went wrong but it is so bitter. It made SO much zucchini hummus that is inedible. So far, I took about 1/3 of it and added chick peas and it helped for a lighter zucchini hummus, but ... any ideas for what to do with the rest of it ? Pasta sauce? What can I add to make it not bitter?

Nutridel Cookies: Review


the COMPANY
Nutridel - a combination of the words nutritious and delicious is a company that makes natural gourmet cookies. The company is based out of California, mainly in San Diego, with presence in LA, San Francisco and Portland, OR. They sell 4 flavors of cookies: oatmeal (best seller), flaxseed, almond and pecan.

the PRODUCT
I received a flaxseed cookie and a pecan cookie to review.
Both cookies were large, crispy and flat, vegan and contain around 60 calories per cookie.
Check out the size:






The Flaxseed cookie ingredients are oats, whole wheat flour, flaxseed, wheatbran, amaranth, molasses, sunflower oil, and ground cinnamon. I eat flaxseed all the time, but I didn't pick up the flavor of the flaxseed. To me, it tasted like a yummy oatmeal cookie! It was crunchy and sweet. And big! For around 60 calories, I felt like I was having a whole lot of cookie!

The Pecan cookie ingredients are whole wheat flour, wheat bran, amaranth, pecans, molasses, sunflower oil and natural pecan essence. This one tasted like a sweet wheat cookie with a hint of pecan. It wasn't as sweet as the flaxseed cookie but had a good taste. Again, a big cookie :)

Both of these flavors would be AWESOME crumbled over yogurt. Mmmm....

I don't know much about amaranth so I looked it up - it is a common grain used in vegetarian recipes for baked goods, pancakes or any flour based recipes. It has amino acids and protein.
Molasses seems to be better for you than sugar, containing iron and calcium and other minerals.

Each package contains 2 cookies and costs $2.50 but has special pricing for larger orders. To obtain information about purchasing, email info@nutridel.com or (619) 718-0014. The website is under construction but is found here. Look for them in retail locations in CA and OR.


the SUMMARY

Crunchy, healthy cookies that are tasty, and decently low in calories. If you are in the San Diego area, or one of the other areas mentioned above, I would check them out. They make a great sweet snack for the sweet tooth or kid's lunchboxes! The pricing is reasonable, and the cookies have a sweet taste for being good for you.

9.04.2009

Life in the fast lane...

Has not been what I expected! On Wednesday, the lane that I swim in already had 4 swimmers when I arrived so I hopped into one of the fast lanes. I went last. Here's how it went: Usually, I swim in a lane where the intervals are not challenging, but there is hardly any rest between sets. I moved over and the intervals are still not killing me, but they are more the speed I'd like to be swimming. However, in between sets, way too much blabbering was going on, to the point where my body was not warm anymore when we started the next set! I'm there for a limited time and want to get in as much yardage as I possibly can, so I was really frustrated to see the lane I was in and lane next to it just blabbling away about people that I didn't know and conversation that I couldn't join into. No one talked to me at all, besides asking me if I wanted to go ahead of them. It was a real downer!! I got in 2600 yards in 50 minutes when I was hoping for 3000.

I thought today I'd give it another try, and I did. Same crap. Today while the bullshitting went on, I just turned around and swam 50s when we finished each set until they were ready to start again. I don't feel comfortable saying something, because I just started a month or 2 ago, and just joined the lane I'm in. I don't want to be that person. I don't know if it is better to keep swimming at faster intervals and just swim when they are talking (and be the most antisocial person ever - but I am there to swim not chat) or swim slower intervals with less rest. Today I covered the whole workout 3200 yards but mainly because I had an extra 10 minutes since Bill didn't have to be in early. What are your thoughts?





In Nick news, he had tofu for the first time yesterday. He seemed to like it. He'll be 7 months in 2 days - which makes me feel kind of sad/sick to my stomach that he is growing up so quickly!

I'm happy to say that I've done a nice job eating clean this week. There was a small bowl of ice cream here and there, but it was small, and it was GOOD! I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing some results in the weeks to come if I can keep it up! Yesterday I went the whole day without eating a Werthers hard candy (huge for me, I usually eat at least 3 a day, but probably up to about 8 of them). We'll try again today!

9.03.2009

Greens Plus and Amazing Grass



As promised, here is a review of Greens Plus Wild Berry Burst powder, Chocolate Peanut butter Protein Bar, Chocolate Energy Bar and Orange Greensicle Drink Mix.

The Berry Burst drink powder is chock full of fruits and veggies and great supplements, such as chorella, spirulina, and green tea extract. Check out the link to see all of the ingredients of the powder. I used it in a smoothie with milk, and one with water and ice. I liked it best with milk and some ice - kind of like a milkshake. It was tasty, had a strong berry flavor and green color of course. Now I used to use Splenda in my tea and something in there reminded me of that sweetness - but there is nothing artificial in this mix. This mix is $35 for 9.4 oz - so on the pricey side, but if you aren't getting in your fruits and veggies, and you have the money, definitely worth it to do something good for your body!

How does this compare to amazing grass:
Amazing Grass also has a berry flavor, which is comparable to Greens +. The ingredients are quite similar. Amazing Grass sells 8 oz for $28. The prices are in the same range. I think that I liked the taste of Amazing Grass better for this product, but they were very close. I didn't have any amazing grass to compare it to at the same time, I just remember really liking the berry flavor of it!





Next up the Chocolate Energy Bar which has an almond butter and date base. This bar was tasty. I would eat it post-run, maybe during a long run (I am looking for a GU replacement), or take it with me for healthy traveling. It is coated in chocolate and I thought it tasted like a sweet treat. The bars go for close to $3 each, but if you join their program with planned deliveries you save on the products and the shipping.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar
: Comparable taste and same cost as the Energy Bar but packed with protein. 16 g of protein, with main ingredients of natural peanut butter and whey protein. If I'm going for a protein bar, this is great with all of the extra supplemental ingredients. I'm in!

On the bars: Definitely some questionable ingredients:Montana bee pollen, royal jelly, Nova Scotia pulse? When I say questionable, I mean ... things that made me go, Hmmm... Still, love the taste





Compared to Amazing Grass: Hands down, these taste so much better than the amazing grass bars. I could tell those were good for me, while this just tasted GOOD.

Orange Greensicle:
I'm not a fan of orange so I couldn't try this one, but I sent it in with Bill to work. His colleague sent me an email asking me never to send it to work again for their benefit - but Bill reports that it had a hint of orange but was a green drink (which scared his colleagues). He didn't like the flakes that were at the bottom of the glass, but he was unable to shake it w/o a shaker cup at work. To even get him to try it was pretty darn good. So this gets a good review if you like orange drinks! I'd guess it is similar to the berry powder but it comes in convenient packets you can bring on the go. The only thing with the mixes is that they do best when you shake them or use them in a blender, so on the go is tough unless you bring your shaker along.


THE CUP

Greens+ gives you a cup with lid to shake the drink up. I like the concept. With Amazing Grass you get a cup with a hole and lid so that you can sip it. It is a personal preference on what you like better!


I have to say, my biggest BEEF with Greens + is WHERE IS THE CHOCOLATE POWDER??? I need chocolate. The cost is high but comparable to amazing grass. I think I'd get a stock of this stuff and use it for convenient travel but not everyday - I just can't afford it! The cool thing about Greens+ though is the health club - which enables you to get 10-20% off and automatic deliveries once a month. If you are interesting in more greens + info or buying, click the fun icon on my sidebar to take you to their site!


9.01.2009

Eating Clean

This week, I am on track with eating clean! I'll share some foods below, but here have been some staples:

Breakfast- oats with almond butter, chia and sometimes protein powder
(on swim days I add quinoa)

Mid-morning - fruit/yogurt or an egg white/cottage cheese/mushroom/veggie omelette. Mmmm...

Lunch: veggies, gardenburger or the egg white omelette

Afternoon snack: kashi go lean, cranberries, fruit...


Dinner - various - tonight I made squash soup and bean patties.

Squash soup: (adapted from eat-clean diet)
Soak 2 TBS flaxseeds and 1/4 c sesame seeds in 2 separate bowls for one hour.
Bake a butternut squash at 350 for about an hour or till soft and tender. After 30 min I cut it in half. Scrape out the insides.
Saute garlic and olive oil, then add squash, + 3 c. veggie broth, oregano, and basil, + seeds. Puree in the blender and eat immediately! If too thick add water!


Bean patties
- I added almonds, flaxseeds and wheatgerm.


This came in the mail - a sample of somersaults. I like the name and they were a crispy snack that tasted like sesame seeds. I like small treats so they were yum.


From the eat-clean diet, I made yogurt cheese. Take a wad of yogurt (2 cups it says) and wrap in a cheese cloth, then put in a strainer with a bowl under it. Stick it in the fridge overnight. Water collects in the bowl. Dump out the water and use the yogurt that is left = yogurt cheese!


I used it to make dip for the bean patties. It was bland and tasted like sour cream. The cookbook says whatever you add to it, it takes on the taste. Kind of like tofu. I'll tell you more about that later as I use it.
Green smoothie - Diane from greens plus (click the link on the sidebar to check out the site) sent me their berry mix which I tried today. Very similar to amazing grass. I am going to keep using it to see what I think.I'll post about the comparisons after I've tried it more...

I also received 2 of the greens plus bars. Today I had the chocolate peanut butter one. I liked it SOOO much better than the amazing grass bars. It reminded me of GeniSoy if you've had them. Yum. I'll do a full review once I've had all of the products.
I sent Bill into work with the little drink packet, Orange Greensicle. I received an email from his colleague and friend Kevin saying to please never send Bill a lunch like this again, specifically, the drink mix. His people at work were disgusted by it for sure. It would have been better blended or shaken, Bill had to just mix it. So we'll keep that at home.


Here's one of my cottage cheese egg white + broccoli and mushroom omelettes. mmm.. I overcooked it a little but still was so good. Today I had it on Dave's killer bread. It was killer!


I went swimming on Monday and I REALLY want to move to a faster lane. I'm not there yet but it's so crappy swimming first in the lane with too much rest. I need to get a little faster to move over though, otherwise I will get discouraged too easily going last in a fast lane and getting lapped.